The robot economy in Forbes
Earlier this week, there was an op-ed in Forbes telling us that there’s no need to fear the robot economy.
However, I think the op-ed is pretty poorly reasoned. It goes something like: “Technological advancement has always bettered the human condition, and there have always been better jobs for the displaced workers, so stop worrying, morons.” I tried to find more specifics in there, but that’s really all there is to it.
The robot revolution is different than the previous economic revolutions. Robots will make unskilled and semi-skilled human labor worthless. The robot economy will produce more stuff with less human labor than ever before, but because we are married to the idea that people have to have some sort of job in a free-market economy in order to deserve to right to partake of any of the goods and services produced by society, the strange result of the robot revolution will be more people living in poverty.
The author of the op-ed writes that “mass leisure will also create other kinds of jobs, such as those devoted to entertaining and informing each other,” but the problem is that the masses will be too poor to afford leisure, and the majority of people aren’t smart enough to entertain and inform better than a robot. It will be more as I previously wrote, “there will be two classes of poor: the less poor who can provide services that amuse the few super-rich, and poorer poor who have nothing valuable to contribute to the super-rich.”